• Chris Williams & Deborah Bartlett


Is bigger always better? According to the experts, when buying a rug… yes! For an instant makeover, a rug is a great start and at this time of year many of us are looking at ways to cosy up our living spaces for winter. Many design concepts start from the floor up so flooring is often the best place to start if you’re planning a renovation or just freshening up a room. Rugs are a major investment so it’s important to choose wisely, taking into account a number of factors….

The scale of the rug compared to the size of the furniture is important. Putting a small rug alongside a large sofa will just look odd. A large rug placed under the sofa will help to “anchor” the space. If the room is large enough, place the sofa and furniture on the rug completely. This is ideal for defining spaces and taking the focus away from possible ugly flooring. Flat weaves are durable and easily cleaned so they are great for under dining tables. Make sure the rug is big enough to pull out the chairs when seated at the table. Used in bedrooms choose a rug large enough to come up the side of the bed at least 2/3 and allow enough space around the bed to anchor it in the room.

Defining spaces in large open plan areas is important, especially when there is a vast expanse of hard surfaces. Mixing hard surfaces with soft textures is a design must. Rugs also will soften the noise that often happens in open plan living.

Careful planning will help you from making expensive mistakes. Rugs come in a few basic sizes 160 x 230, 190x 290 or 250 x 350. It is a good idea to place newspaper down or use tape to mark out an area when choosing the size of rug best for you. Reputable retailers will allow you to take them home to try before you buy. This is a great way to see how the rug looks and feels in your space. If you require a larger size, some companies can make custom rugs. It is also possible to create custom your design using your own colours.

Factors to take into consideration are foot traffic, colour, texture, and the atmosphere you want to create. A rug such as a hall runner is better suited to short tufted wool or natural fibers such as jute or sisal. These are good choices also for pets. Buying quality will give you many years of life and will be easier to look after. If you like a natural palate, use a neutral colour rug with a texture or sculptured pattern to create interest and to soften hard surfaces on the floor. To continue the neutral palate, choose a textured rug that blends with the flooring. If adding colour and pattern, make sure it “sings” with other pieces in the room such as art and paint colour and soft furnishings while standing out on the floor surface.

Rugs are a big part of creating the atmosphere in your home so do your research. They create a lovely space for family to lay around on, a dramatic statement when furniture is lacking a presence or a great way to make sense of a large open space.

Keep warm this winter on whatever rug you choose.

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